Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jobs revisited

[This is an updated repost; the original post appeared in January, 2009]

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life. Part of that is due to the fact that I started working fairly early-- #2 began when I was only 14, while #3-7 all happened while still in high school. Part of it, too, is due to the fact that I’ve sometimes had to hold more than one job at a time. And part of it is because I had a few jobs that just didn’t work out.

Mostly, though, I’m pleased to say that most of the people I have worked for have expressed gratitude for my work, and indicated that they were sad to see me go. I’m grateful that my father, my mother, and the man who discipled me through college-- along with some better managers and bosses-- instilled a strong work-ethic in me fairly early on.

So, here’s the master list: all of the jobs I’ve held, starting with the earliest regular job I had (mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool for my family, which I started doing when I was big enough to push the lawn mower at age 11!). These are only the jobs I had for pay; there were other “jobs” or positions I held, but only as a volunteer, so they are excluded from this list.

  1. Lawn mowing/pool cleaning-- to “earn” my allowance, once it was no longer an allowance but pay for this work. I also mowed for the office building where my father’s office was. (6 years)
  2. Janitor-- in the building where my father’s office was. (3 years+)
  3. Handyman’s Assistant-- helping with room additions, plumbing, carpentry, other various tasks. (1 summer)
  4. General manual labor-- for a neighbor, moving gravel (9 tons) and sand (7 tons) from his driveway, uphill, to the drainage ditch around the pool he was building, with a shovel and wheelbarrow. (2 months during summer)
  5. Gutter-cleaning/Yard work-- good money going door-to-door in my neighborhood. (2 summers and falls)
  6. Clown, juggler, and magician-- I started doing this as a volunteer with a fellow magician friend at a festival, and we were offered paying work at a party. It turned into a regular thing, and was great fun. (3 years)
  7. Host/Server/everything else-- California Dreamin’, a restaurant in Columbia, SC. I started as a host, but I also ran food (=delivered it to tables), worked as a “bar back” (washing glasses mostly), washed dishes, worked in the kitchen, waited tables-- pretty much everything but tend bar (I wasn’t legally old enough) and manage. I consider this my first “real” job, even though I had earned a lot of money already by this point (I was only 17 when I started this one). (14 months)
  8. Server-- Garfield’s, another restaurant. (1 summer)
  9. Timothy’s/Bailey’s-- yet another restaurant; this one was my first introduction to “fine dining,” as it was a really swanky place. The ownership changed right before I started there, and thus the name change. (6 months)
  10. Typist/Transcriber-- “independent.” In 1991 (my freshman year in college), I was one of the only people in my dorm who had a computer of their own, and a handful of guys in my English Composition class hated typing their papers (or simply couldn’t type!). I capitalized on this by offering my services for 5¢ per word, which they gladly paid; since I was already at about 50-60 words per minute, I made pretty good money with this. Even better, when they were assigned the task of editing the papers, they brought the edits to me to prepare-- and I had saved the originals, so they paid twice for many of those words. (Just so you know: I disclosed this fact to them, and they were unconcerned.) I did this for two semesters. (10 months)
  11. TGI Friday’s-- yes, another. This one was weird, as we took a three-week family vacation about a month after I started, and they basically replaced me before I got back. (2 months)
  12. Computer Lab Assistant--University of South Carolina. My first job using my burgeoning computer interests. (6 months)
  13. Theater Technician--University of South Carolina. I worked in the scene studio; hung, focused, and ran lights; worked with the sound systems; organized props; even a little bit in the costume studio here and there. (6 months)
  14. Server-- Key West Grill and Raw Bar. A quick job, mostly because it was so far from where I lived. (3 months)
  15. Landscaping-- for a friend and colleague of my mother’s. I had dropped out of school at this point, and took any work I could get-- clearing lots mostly; my first exposure to a chainsaw. (4 months)
  16. Construction-- again, through my mom’s friend and colleague. I was just about useless to them, so they had me scraping spilled mortar off of concrete slabs with a flat-end shovel-- what a loud and annoying task. (1 month)
  17. Sales/Stock-- Structure. This was my first dip into the retail world, though I spent most of it in the stock room. Nice clothes, but not my style, and there was a lot of pressure to wear them (as well as participate in the employee stock purchase program), and it was a 45-minute drive from my house. (2 months)
  18. Sales-- Be Beep, a Toy Shop. Was a great job, selling toys, putting them together, delivering larger items to some customers, and generally playing with kids and grown-ups alike. I loved this job. (18 months)
  19. Cook/Sales-- Little Caesar’s Pizza. After I left Structure, this was my second job. I learned how to toss dough, and I’m pleased to say I’ll still eat Little Caesar’s pizza even after working there. (8 months) [An aside: it was at this point in my life that I began to learn how to handle multiple tasks and responsibilities simultaneously: I was working two jobs, going to school full-time, serving with Young Life as a Volunteer Leader, and leading the worship team for Fellowship of Christian Athletes-- AND I had a girlfriend.]
  20. Youth Minister-- Southeast Presbyterian Church/Rose Hill Presbyterian Church/ Covenant Presbyterian Church. I started out with Southeast part-time, while still working at Be Beep. (Jobs #21, 22, 23, and 24 also were concurrent with Southeast.) Southeast eventually merged with Rose Hill, and shortly after that I also began to work with Covenant in a united youth ministry. This job was formative in more ways than I can enumerate here. (4 years)
  21. Server/Sales-- Columbia Bread and Bagel Co. I opened, which meant (for a bakery) I went in at 4am. Still, it was a good job, and I learned a lot about bread. I needed something full-time, though. (3 months)
  22. Sales/Lab Technician-- Jackson Camera and Video. I worked mostly in the lab, and I learned a ton about how color photos are processed (prior to that, I had only done B&W in a lab); I also sold cameras, mostly when my co-worker wasn’t there. (10 months)
  23. Sales/Lab Technician-- Columbia Photo Supply. This was a great improvement over Jackson Camera, in part because I did mostly sales here. Great folks to work with and for, and they helped me re-emerse myself in photography as a hobby and business. I only left because I was moving to full-time with the church. (18 months)
  24. Photographer-- "independent.” I mostly worked with one guy, who took me under his wing, doing wedding photography. Ironically, he had learned photography from my father, who had taken HIM under his wing. He taught me a ton; I still did this occasionally until a couple of years ago, even though I “retired” about five times! (14 years?)
  25. Writer-- “independent.” I started writing a long time ago, but I started getting paid for it in 1998. Since then, I’ve continued to write as much as I can, and every now and then I still get paid for it! (11+ years)
  26. Website Developer-- “independent.” Really, I was a subcontractor for my mom, who needed someone to handle this for the family company. I only did it until she found someone in-house to do it. Still, this was 1998, so there weren’t many folks who could take this on at that point. (7 months)
  27. Youth Minister-- Westminster Presbyterian Church. Having finally finished college, this was my first post-undergraduate ministry job, in Roanoke, Virginia. There were some great folks there, and I still miss a number of the students and families that I worked with, even though it has been almost 10 years. (19 months)
  28. Basketball Coach-- Faith Christian School. A local school in Roanoke asked me to do this while I was serving at Westminster. It was fun, even though we lost every game: almost none of the kids had any organized sports experience, and many had never even played pickup games. We drilled on skills, sportsmanship, and being a part of a team. (5 months)
  29. Construction-- M&M Construction Company. When we first moved to seminary, we were flat broke and still looking for a job for Marcie, plus there were a couple of weeks before my teaching job started. So I worked construction, working on a deck, insulating and drywalling a room, and doing demo. Nice folks, too. (3 weeks)
  30. Yardwork/Landscaping-- “independent.” Again, during the first weeks in St. Louis, I was looking for work wherever I could find it. I found a couple of households that needed some yardwork and landscaping done, and I served them for most of the first semester. (4 months)
  31. House-cleaning-- “independent.” And again-- ad-hoc work during seminary. While I had never planned to return to janitorial work, this family paid well enough to coax me back into it. Unfortunately, they hit financial trouble and couldn’t afford to continue. (2 months)
  32. Teacher/Consultant/Administrator-- Wildwood Christian School. I worked here throughout seminary, and for a year after finishing. I taught Logic, Advanced Literature, Rhetoric, Bible, and a Senior Research Seminar. I also helped them plan for marketing, did a staff evaluation, and organized the administrative side of things for a while. I’m glad to be out of the education world-- at least for now-- but it was a good place to work, and they were good to us. (5½ years)
  33. Photographer-- Covenant Seminary. Apart from a variety of ways that I’ve worked as a photographer “independently” I was also on the staff of the seminary as a photographer for the Advancement department. For a while, many of the shots that were featured in seminary promotional materials were taken by me-- that was pretty neat. (3 years)
  34. Sound Technician-- Francis Schaeffer Institute. The Schaeffer Institute ran a program called “Friday Nights @ FSI” that (ironically) was hosted by Borders bookstores, and they would have speakers address a variety of topics. My job was to run sound for them, record the lectures, and participate in hospitality. This was fun, but it got a little tedious after a while-- every other Friday almost year-round. (2 years)
  35. Adult Ministries Pastoral Intern-- The Covenant Presbyterian Church. This started as a volunteer internship, but after a semester or so the church graciously began to pay me for my work. Mostly, I served one of the Associate Pastors for the church, handling a number of administrative, organizational, and service tasks so that he could focus on teaching and counseling ministry. (2½ years)
  36. Teaching Assistant-- Dr. Philip Douglass, Covenant Seminary. I graded and evaluated a lot of Dr. Douglass’s assignments for several years, and also occasionally worked with students more individually than he was able to do. (4 years)
  37. Consultant-- Douglass & Associates. My relationship with Phil Douglass graduated from T.A. to associate, and while I suppose technically I still work with him-- though only vaguely these days-- I haven't done any hands-on work with Phil or with his consulting work in several years. My work with him as included hands-on work with churches, writing and editing, website development, marketing and promotion. (6 years)
  38. Computer/Productivity Consultant-- “independent.” During my transition from seminary into ordained ministry, I began working with several families on their Apple Macintosh computers, as well as with productivity and organization. I officially "retired" from this about two years ago, and I can't say I have missed it. (4 years)
  39. Pastor-- Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church. My first position as an ordained pastor, this was a great pleasure and a privilege to serve in. God showered us with many blessings during these years, and in His mercy enabled much fruit to bear from my ministry there. (4 years)
  40. Principal/Co-Director— Doulos Resources. Right around the time this list first appeared (in 2009), one of my best friends (who I worked with in #20, Richard Burguet— he was the pastor of Southeast Presbyterian) and I began a ministry to support the church through producing resources that were needful, and/or that might have difficulty finding their way to production otherwise. In this capacity, I've functioned as an editor, publisher, website developer, marketer, counselor, and a number of other "hats". (3+ years)
  41. Pastor-- Dove Mountain Church. Which brings us to the present. God continues to bless me with the service He allows of me in ministry, and I'm so thankful to be where I am, and serving in the role(s) I do. (6+ months and counting)

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